Heather Headley as Nala in the musical's original cast
Background information
Musical The Lion King
Portrayed by
Portrayed by
Performance model
Inspiration Ophelia from Hamlet
Eve from Moses
Hathor from Egyptian mythology
Ross from MacBeth
Honors and awards
Character information
Full name
Other names
Occupation Queen of the Pride Lands
Affiliations Good
Goal To return Simba to Pride Rock and help fight Scar to assume Simba's rightful place as King (succeeded)
Relatives Sarafina (mother)

Simba (husband)

Mufasa (father in law)

Scar (uncle in law)

Sarabi (mother in law

Kion (son)

Kiara (daughter)

Mheetu (brother)

Kovu ( son in law

Allies Simba, Nala, Mufasa, Timon, Rafiki, Sarabi, Zazu, Sarafina, Kiara, Kion, Kovu, Vitani, Outsiders, Bunga, Beshte, Fuli, Ono, Tiifu, Zuri, Makini
Enemies Scar, Shenzi, Banzai and Ed, Makuu, (formerly) Janja, Nuka, Zira, Vitani, (formerly) Kovu, (formerly) Outsiders, (formerly) Chungu, Cheezi, Nne, Tano
Likes Ordinence, adventuring, having fun and being with Simba, romance, her family
Dislikes The idea of marrying Simba (formerly), swimming in cold water, Scar's tyranny, hyenas, Simba's occasional stubbornness
Powers and abilities
Weapons Claws and teeth
Fate Marries Simba and becomes Queen of the Pride Lands

Nala first appears in the musical as she is hunting with the other lionesses, replacing the scene from the film where she is being bathed by her mother Sarafina. Later, during the song "I Just Can't Wait to Be King", she sings quite a few extra lines that do not appear in the film version.

In the scene "The Madness of King Scar", the lonely, mentally ill Scar decides to take Nala as his queen, despite the fact that she is angrily opposed to the idea. This leads to the song scene "Shadowland" where Nala's character sings the lead about her need to leave the Pride Lands and find help. The other lionesses sing supporting choir and Rafiki sings a blessing. At the end of the song, Nala bids her pride a sad farewell and leaves.

Tony Award-winning actress Heather Headley portrayed her in the original Broadway cast while Kajuana Stafford portrayed the younger version of her. In the London West End production, she was originally portrayed by Paulette Ivory.